DECATUR-- Millikin students didn’t let the sub zero temperatures discourage them from coming together and celebrating the life and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Thursday night.
Nearly 200 students gathered in the Richards Treat University Center to listen and learn about the civil rights leader through spoken word performances, a rendition of King’s famous I Have a Dream speech, as well as a lesson on Ubuntu from Dr. Anne Matthews.
Ubuntu is a philosophy developed in South Africa that is loosely translated in English to mean ‘human kindness’. “I chose to speak on ubunto tonight because I think it encompasses everything that Dr. King stood for and I think it’s important for our students, and all young people to realize that we should be kind to one another for the sake of being kind,” Matthews said before her address.
“This was a real eye opener for me, coming in here and seeing all these people, it’s really inspiring,” Freshman music major Haley Hogenkamp said. Hogenkamp was one of 5 students to perform a spoken word tribute to Dr. King at the start of the ceremony.
Following the spoken word performance, freshman George Rushing gave a rendition of King’s famous ‘Dream’ speech which brought many students to their feet at its conclusion.
“When I was initially asked to do that I was nervous and thought about turning it down,” Rushing said, “but when I thought about it some more I knew that this was an opportunity for me to spread my wings and perform something that I am passionate about.”
After the speeches and performances several students took turns on stage and expressed their dreams, which ranged from living and working in a hospital in Australia, to opening a business, to traveling the world before focusing on a career. The students then went and ‘shared’ their dreams via post-it note which will be hung in a building on the Millikin campus in the near future.